Inspiration

Plastics are goods primarily made of fossil-fuel based chemicals that are usually disposed of after one or two uses. They are used everywhere: for packaging and for food and beverage service ware, such as bottles, wrappers, straws, bags, spoons, forks, etc. This plastic ends up in our landfills, oceans, and our environment. Plastic is not biodegradable and breaks down into smaller pieces of plastic called microplastics. It contaminates our water and soil, and as a result, the toxic chemicals from the plastic can be transferred to animals and eventually enters the human food chain. Plastic is a huge environmental problem and should be used sparingly, if used at all. We should all do our part to reduce, reuse and recycle.

I want to tackle the problem of recycling since recycling can be such a pain a lot of the time. Sorting is confusing, and where do we even take our recycling as not all communities have recycling bins that get emptied out magically everyday. You love the environment, and I do too. You want to help save the environment, but don't really know where to start? Let me help you! Start by recycling your everyday items by sorting trash into recyclables and nonrecyclables, and take them to your nearest recycling center.

What it does

The app has 2 main functionalities:

  1. Scanning a barcode and comparing the barcode to the zxing library to get the number from the barcode. Then comparing the barcode to a database on Firebase deployed on Heroku to see whether or not the item is recyclable, and if so what type it is

  2. Getting your current location and the closest recycling center to you. Then, shows your current address and the address of the nearest recycling center on screen, as well as displayed as 2 pins (red for yours and green for the recycling center) on a map widget on the screen. Users can then tap on the pin of the recycling center, which will load the address into your Google Maps App and show you the shortest route

How I built it

I used Google Maps API, Google Geocoder API, zxing library, Firebase, Heroku using Android Studio, and radar.io

Challenges I ran into

I had a lot of trouble finding a good library for the barcodes and free, and it took a while to find zxing. I couldn't find a god and free library that had barcode info and recycling info (type, recyclable or not). I was able to find https://www.barcodelookup.com/api but it is expensive .

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I am proud of finishing all of the functionalities I envisioned for this project successfully.

What I learned

-How to use Google Maps -How to build a barcode reader -How to use libraries in Android apps -How to use Firebase, then deploy on Heroku. My teammates had always done this for me in my previous Hackathon so I now appreciate how fast they deployed it back then. It took me way to long to deploy the database.

What's next for RecycleTogether

-Improvements in UI: The UI is barebones right now. It looks like stock app from Android Studio -A bigger and better database. Only a few entries were stored and it was made locally.

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